This image is the cover for the book Rise of an African Middle Class

Rise of an African Middle Class

An in-depth look at Africans who challenged the status quo in colonial Zimbabwe: “Impeccable and original scholarship.” —American Historical Review

Tracing their quest for social recognition from the time of Cecil Rhodes to Rhodesia’s unilateral declaration of independence, Michael O. West shows how some Africans were able to avail themselves of scarce educational and social opportunities in order to achieve some degree of upward mobility in a society that was hostile to their ambitions. Though relatively few in number and not rich by colonial standards, this comparatively better-off class of Africans challenged individual and social barriers imposed by colonialism to become the locus of protest against European domination. This extensive and original book opens new perspective into relations between colonizers and colonized in colonial Zimbabwe.

“Offers an extremely sophisticated, nuanced view of the social and political construction of an African middle class in colonial Zimbabwe.” —Elizabeth Schmidt

Michael O. West

Michael O. West teaches in the Departments of Sociology and Africana Studies at Binghamton University. He is co-editor (with William G. Martin) of Out of One, Many Africas: Reconstructing the Study and Meaning of Africa. He has written widely on Zimbabwean and southern African history, and on the African diaspora.

Indiana University Press